by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
September 25, 2009

Does any of the following sound familiar?

Well, the dynasty’s over. The Pats will be lucky to go 8-8. Brady’s done. Bill Belichick’s lost it. I hate my life.

Wow. When the Worry Wart has to step in and act as a voice of reason, watch out. New England has a 1-1 record, the same at this point as 2003 and one game better than 2001. Let’s get a grip and some perspective, dealing with reality-based concerns going into Week Three.

Not The B’s Knees: Knee injuries to A-teamers Jerod Mayo and Wes Welker continue to vex Patriots watchers. If one believes The World Wide Leader and the benefits of limited participation, Welker should play. That’s a relief, at long as he can play like Week One Welker (12 catches). Meanwhile, Mayo’s injury continues to put pressure on defensive backups.

Four-Three, To One: In Mayo’s absence, the Pats’ 4-3 defense has been anchored, as it were, by second-year man Gary Guyton. While Guyton stayed busy in the Meadowlands (10 total tackles), his lack of experience and instincts has resulted in a corresponding lack of big plays as of yet. Which reminds me…

After Rocky Start, Does Burgess Merit It? We’ll pay attention to both. Pass-rusher Derrick Burgess needs to develop pressure out of a 4-3 front. Brand-new signee Prescott Burgess needs to… do whatever it is he does. Help at outside linebacker? Stabilize special teams from last week’s agonizing, four-penalty performance?

All On The Line: Recovering quarterback Tom Brady got knocked around last Sunday. We’ll see if the offensive line can help convince future opponents that constant blitzing has its hazards as well as rewards (I’m looking at you, Matt Light and Nick Kaczur).

Passing On The Air Game: Signing Fred Taylor this past offseason looked like a great move, but why buy a Mercedes if you’re only going to use it to run errands? Taylor averaged 5.75 yards against the Jets on only eight carries. Will he get more chances facing the weaker Falcons defense? Will Laurence Maroney break one big run? Tune in Sunday.

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